BEIJING, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league's Beijing Ducks announced to terminate the contract with 40-year-old former NBA player Stephon Marbury here on Saturday due to the dispute of the latter's role and salary in the next season.
Xie Haitian, vice manager of the club told the press conference that Marbury is under a two-year contact which rules that the club have the right to choose whether Marbury serve as a player or an assistant coach in the 2017-18 season.
According to the club, Marbury turned down the offer to hire him as an assistant coach, insisting to play for another year. After a few rounds of negotiation, the two sides disagreed with the salary to hire Marbury as a player coach before Beijing made the announcement to terminate the contract before the 2017-18 season.
Stephon Marbury wrote a letter to fans on his Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, right after the press conference.
In the letter titled "To all the dear fans" written in both English and Chinese, Marbury admitted the existence of the clauses above and explained the reason why he rejected the proposal.
"First, the team did not decide who would be the head coach, apparently the team is in a rebuilding progress. Coach Min (Lulei) who lead this team to 3 Champions might not be the head coach anymore which makes it hard for me to accept the offer of becoming an assistant coach.
"Second, we did not make the playoffs in the past season, as a player who always want to win and work hard to prepare myself for winning, it's very hard to accept the way the season ended.
"Though I am 40 years already, I can still play at a very high level. I was still able to lead the team to compete, even with an injured leg. I still have a lot in the tank that make me really want to play for anohter year," wrote Marbury.
He also mentioned in the letter that "we offered the club options including to cut 20% of my salary so that I could work as a player coach in the coming season", which didn't lead to an agreement.
"As a 20 year veteran, I understand this is a professional game, that's why I fully respect the club's situation and decision. This afternoon we received the agreement letter from the team to terminate the contract we have for the coming season. I appreciate them allowing me to keep competing and winning in this great league, the CBA."
About his future, Marbury said, "I have not decided which team yet But there is one thing I'm 100% sure of no matter the team I play for the love between me and the club is always there, we will keep working with each other in the future," wrote Marbury. "No matter where I am, I am a Beijinger. Beijing is my home forever."
After joining Beijing before 2011-2012 season, the lost sheep from NBA found comfort in the capital city of the oriental country. He helped bring three champions to Beijing and became a local hero. A museum in honor of him was unveiled in downtown, and he even received a Chinese green card in 2016.
At the end of the letter, Marbury thanked his teammates, his coach Min Lulei, other people and "Of course the fans of Beijing who gave me my second life, thank you so much as always." He wrote, "LOVE is LOVE."